Italian Stocks; Azimut, Luxottica, Saipem, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index retreated for a third day, losing 71.51, or 0.3 percent, to 21,363.52 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

The following stocks were among the most active in the Italian market today.

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM) sank 4.7 percent to 7.38 euros, the biggest drop in 10 weeks. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research trimmed its price estimate on Italy’s largest independent fund manager to 10.60 euros from 11.60 euros, while keeping a “buy” rating. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered its price projection to 9 euros from 9.20 euros and kept an “outperform” rating. Banca IMI downgraded the stock to “add” from “buy.”

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) retreated 1.4 percent to 1.03 euros, a second day of declines. Banking stocks dropped in Europe, following UBS AG’s surprise investment- banking loss.

Banco Popolare SC (BP IM) lost 1.6 percent to 3.99 euros, the shares fourth day of losses. HSBC Holdings Plc cut its rating to “neutral” from “overweight” after the board of Italy’s fifth-biggest bank approved a plan for a share sale of as much as 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion). The brokerage said the sale will increase the number of outstanding shares by 76 percent.

“We calculate a 39 percent earnings-per-share dilution on the basis of our assumptions,” it wrote in a note.

Luxottica Group SpA (LUX IM) dropped 1.9 percent to 20.95 euros. The owner of the Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses brands said it aims to raise net income 27 percent this year after demand in emerging markets and renewed interest in luxury glasses boosted quarterly sales.

Barclays cut its recommendation to “equal weight” from “overweight,” citing the stock’s “strong performance,” while Nomura Holdings Inc., UBS AG and Natixis Securities increased their price estimates to 23 euros, 23.50 euros and 27 euros, respectively.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM) slid 2.4 percent to 31.36 euros, ending four days of gains. Barclays downgraded Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider to “equal weight” from “overweight.”

“Saipem continues to be the most balanced, well-run company in the sector,” the brokerage said. “This is largely reflected in its valuation.”

Kepler Capital Markets increased its price estimate to 31 euros from 28 euros.

Tenaris SpA (TEN IM), the world’s biggest maker of seamless steel tubes, dropped 1.7 percent to 14.83 euros, its first loss in three days. Oil declined in New York as investors speculated that slowing demand for fuel will cause inventories to rise in the U.S., the world’s largest crude consumer.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at

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